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Papua New Guinea People - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


9,819,350 (2023 est.)


noun: Papua New Guinean(s)

adjective: Papua New Guinean

Ethnic groups

Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian


Tok Pisin (official), English (official), Hiri Motu (official), some 839 living indigenous languages are spoken (about 12% of the world's total); many languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers

note: Tok Pisin, a creole language, is widely used and understood; English is spoken by 1%-2%; Hiri Motu is spoken by less than 2%


Protestant 64.3% (Evangelical Lutheran 18.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.9%, Pentecostal 10.4%, United Church 10.3%, Evangelical Alliance 5.9%, Anglican 3.2%, Baptist 2.8%, Salvation Army 0.4%), Roman Catholic 26%, other Christian 5.3%, non-Christian 1.4%, unspecified 3.1% (2011 est.)

note: data represent only the citizen population; roughly 0.3% of the population are non-citizens, consisting of Christian 52% (predominantly Roman Catholic), other 10.7% , none 37.3%

Age structure

0-14 years: 37.34% (male 1,871,227/female 1,795,700)

15-64 years: 58.75% (male 2,917,668/female 2,851,691)

65 years and over: 3.9% (2023 est.) (male 189,851/female 193,213)

2023 population pyramid:

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 60.5

youth dependency ratio: 55.5

elderly dependency ratio: 5

potential support ratio: 20.1 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 21.6 years (2023 est.)

male: 21.4 years

female: 21.8 years

Population growth rate

2.31% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

28.5 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate

5.5 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

population concentrated in the highlands and eastern coastal areas on the island of New Guinea; predominantly a rural distribution with only about one-fifth of the population residing in urban areas


urban population: 13.7% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 2.91% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

410,000 PORT MORESBY (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

21.9 years (2016/18)

note: data represents median age a first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

192 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 32.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 36.1 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 29.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.7 years (2023 est.)

male: 68 years

female: 71.5 years

Total fertility rate

3.85 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

1.88 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

36.7% (2016/18)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 86.2% of population

rural: 41.5% of population

total: 47.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 13.8% of population

rural: 58.5% of population

total: 52.5% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

2.5% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 57.8% of population

rural: 18.2% of population

total: 23.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 42.2% of population

rural: 81.8% of population

total: 76.5% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and sexually transmitted diseases: hepatitis B (2024)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

21.3% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.26 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.6 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.06 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.6 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 39.3% (2020 est.)

male: 53.5% (2020 est.)

female: 25.1% (2020 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

65.5% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 8%

women married by age 18: 27.3%

men married by age 18: 3.7% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

1.4% of GDP (2020 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 64.2%

male: 65.6%

female: 62.8% (2015)

People - note

the indigenous population of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is one of the most heterogeneous in the world; PNG has several thousand separate communities, most with only a few hundred people; divided by language, customs, and tradition, some of these communities have engaged in low-scale tribal conflict with their neighbors for millennia; the advent of modern weapons and modern migrants into urban areas has greatly magnified the impact of this lawlessness

NOTE: The information regarding Papua New Guinea on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Papua New Guinea 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Papua New Guinea 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.